"you win some, you lose some...yea! But what's your record though?"
Of the many activities I like to engage in, staying home and doing absolutely nothing but watching a good show has to be top on the list. It doesn’t matter if I have company (we millennials call this Netflix & Chill) or I'm alone (we call this Netflix NO Chill...which is most of the time for me). Either way, I still enjoy it very much. Very relaxing and entertaining at the same time. However, there’s an art to doing this. Staying home and watching shows all day isn’t just something you do on whim. It is something that takes skill and preparation. One that I have thoroughly honed over the years and as such there are rules you have to follow and I’m here to share them with the world.
Before going any further let’s establish one thing, we live in the generation of right now (instant gratification) and as much as I consider myself old school in many areas of my life, show watching isn’t one of them. In my opinion, why wait a week for the next episode when I can watch the whole season today? Makes no sense. I purposefully don’t watch shows when they’re airing on television and stay off all social media when they come on for the sole purpose of having the season finish and I can watch it all at the same time (also it helps me pass time while I’m overseas).
If this is an activity you want to pick up, or you already engage in it, but it hasn’t quite been as successful or as fulfilling as you might like, or you just want to improve in general, follow these Binge-Watching Rules and I promise it will enhance your experience and you won’t be disappointed.
Rule 1 - Picking the show: This isn’t something you do on the day you decide to spend doing nothing. It’s a rookie mistake to wait until this day to make that choice, you waste precious time doing that. Imagine picking a show and 15-20 minutes into the first episode you realize it doesn’t have the power to carry you through the day. Now you have to end that and spend more time looking for and picking out another one. Or even worse you find a good show and it has only one season or just a couple of episodes (that we call No Bueno). A true pro would already have the show picked out beforehand, making sure it met all the parameters necessary to keep you entertained all day.
Some of these parameters include (but aren’t limited to) the show has to be interesting to you. It has to have enough episodes and/or seasons to carry you through the day. This varies depending on how long each episode is and how many episodes are in a season. A general guideline to this would be 10+ episodes at about 40+ minutes an episode. That could go up or down in either category depending on how advanced you are in this activity.
Rule 2 - Loading the show: This might be one of, if not the most important aspect of the whole day and experience. If it's done wrong it could kill the whole vibe. If you’re using a paid streaming service (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon, etc) you don’t really have to worry about this. As long as you have decent internet you’re good. However, not every show is available on these mediums, so an expert like myself has to resort to the bootleg versions (there are several websites for this...Google is your friend).
The tough part about this is that, every bootleg website is different. Not every link works as well as the next. So you have to develop an eye for what will work and what won’t. What also comes into play with this is method is your internet speed. You have slow internet, you don’t want to sit in front of your screen waiting for each episode to buffer. So what you do is pre-buffer the episodes ahead of time. What I usually do (being overseas, I don’t always have reliable internet), I buffer about 3 or 4 episodes ahead. For example, whenever I’m done with episode one, before I begin episode two, I start buffering episode 5, so whatever happens, I always have 3 or 4 episodes to ready to be watched.
Rule 3 - Designated Comfy Space: Since this is an all day activity, you want to be as comfortable as possible. You want to set up shop on a bed or couch preferably. Generally speaking, somewhere you already spend a lot of time and are familiar with. Also it should be spacious (we’re about to get the why of that soon) but at the same time have all your necessities within an arm’s reach. Top three necessities are your cellphone (yes your cell phone, I mean c'mon people it’s 2017), your remote control, and of course food or snacks.
Part of comfort is your attire. You should have the minimal amount of clothes on. For one, you’re not expecting any visitors so why put on unnecessary clothing. For two, you’re probably going to have a blanket of some sort, and having extra clothes on will just make you hot and NOT COMFORTABLE. For three, if you have some company for this all day activity you definitely don’t want to have too many clothes on for easy access (you never know, a scene in the one of the episodes might get you in the mood, amongst other things) but let’s move on.
Back to spaciousness...you want it to be spacious for two reasons. For me it’s mostly because I’m a big guy but the rule still applies to everyone BUT reason number one is the food. You have to have enough space for yourself to be comfortable as well as be able to eat and snack well. Trust me, you don’t know how much fun you’re having until you have to wipe your fingers real quick so you can rewind the show because you can’t believe what just happened.
The second reason you want space is for company. Trust me, as much fun as a day like this is by yourself (trust me I’d know, I do this basically 8 months out of every year), it is that much better when you have someone to do it with. So you want to make sure you have enough space for you and your company to be able to be cuddled up when need be but also get away from each other also (like when it gets too hot, when you’re both eating, or when the show is intense and you have to sit up….I’m dramatic like that).
Rule 4: Allowed Extracurriculars: This really should be Rule 3a, but for the sake of not confusing things we’ll call it Rule 4. By Allowed Extracurriculars, I’m referring to and and all activity that requires you to get up from your designated comfortable zone created for show watching. The only reasons you should be getting up should be to go to the bathroom, to go get food or drinks, to quickly clean up after you just ate, or the quick clean up necessary after you and your company had the sparks flying (see Rule 3, paragraph 2). I don’t see any other reason to get up if it isn’t related to one of the things I just mentioned. Don't be the party pooper/joke killer and ask what if there's an emergency?
Rule 5 - Company Selection: If this is the route you want to go, this is a very very very important rule. You have to pick the right partner for this. Once again trust me, there’s nothing as bad planning this day with someone who isn’t ‘bout that life’ or even worse going through the day with them. You don’t want someone that’s going to kill your vibe. You want someone that just as enthusiastic to participate and/or excited to learn (if this isn’t something the usually do). If not your day might be shot. Literally! Choose wisely.
In conclusion, binge-watching of shows is extremely fun. It’s especially fun when done right and with someone who is just as into it as you are. Add these rules that I’ve outlined above and you’re guaranteed to have a great time. So please after your read this, try it out and leave a message or comment. Let me know how it worked out for you. For my fellow experts and pros, if I left out any other rules, regulations, or key points, please share it with the people. I'm here to share the knowledge.